Abuse can happen online as well as offline.
If someone online is trying to make you do things that frighten you, upset you or just make you feel uncomfortable, that’s no ok.
Sexting is the word used to describe the sharing of personal sexual content electronically. This can include ‘rude’ pictures or films. The word is a combination of ‘sex’ and ‘texting’. Sexting can seem like a bit of fun but it can be really risky and have very serious consequences. If you are under 18, taking or sharing naked pictures is illegal, even if they are of yourself and if you have shared them willingly. Anyone under 18 who is sexting is likely to be breaking the law. The law is there to protect young people from harm and from being exploited and it’s not designed to punish them for making genuine mistakes.
Sometimes online people can threaten to share sexual content of other people which can be really upsetting. If you have shared a sexual picture or film of yourself and you’re worried about it, check out So You Got Naked Online by the South West Grid for Learning.
Talking about sexting can be tough but there are people out there who can help and it’s important to tell someone you can trust like a parent, carer, school nurse, or teacher. It might seem embarrassing but the quicker you get help, the quicker people can take action to support you and stop the image/film from spreading.
If you’re being approached online about sex you can make a report to CEOP. You can also contact Devon and Cornwall Police on telephone 101 (non emergency calls) or 999 (emergency calls only).
Being online can be fun and a great place to share information but just like any environment it has risks. Online it’s easy to go anywhere and talk to anyone and that can be in social networks, gaming networks, chatrooms, forums, all sorts of places. Just like you wouldn’t tell a stranger where you live, where you go to school or where you hang out, it’s important to keep your personal information and your privacy safe online. To find out more about staying safe online check out: